Saturday, April 5, 2014

Strasbourg Sojourn

We left home about 35 hours ago and except for whatever sleep we could manage on the plane, we haven't been to bed yet. It was quite an adventure getting here. Our flight out was delayed because the Newark airport had a runway under construction and was limiting inbound flights. We had all boarded and settled in when they announced the delay and made us all get off the plane. We waited in the gate for about 45 minutes before they allowed us back on the plane. When we arrived at Newark we were delayed yet again and had to fly in a holding pattern until we were allowed to land. Fortunately we had a 3 hour gap between flights in Newark so there was no problem making our connection. The flight out of Newark boarded and left the gate on time, but the same runway construction was causing a backup in take offs so our plane had to wait in line behind 25 other planes to take off. The flight over to Stuttgart was mostly uneventful, except that we missed the approach on landing and had to pull up, circle around, and try again! Ultimately we arrived safely at Stuttgart and began our first day of touring.

My rental car has a built in navigation system but the language was set for German and I couldn't figure out how to change it. The route from Stuttgart to Strasbourg is pretty straight forward so I was able to get us there without GPS and only a couple of missed turns that we're readily corrected.  Finding our hotel once we arrived at Strasbourg proved to be more difficult. It's an old European city with lots of bridges and curving streets. I got us pretty solidly lost, but after taking a break and examining the map we got pointed in the right general direction and actually found the correct neighborhood (La Petite France) if not the hotel. At one point I accidentally turned into a parking lot, and was approached by a young man I assumed was the attendant. When I explained I was looking for our hotel he asked for money in exchange for directions. I told him I didn't have any cash but he proceeded to hop on a bicycle and lead us to the hotel entrance. It's a good thing I followed him because I think I never could have found it on my own. I ended up giving him 8 Euro which is less than I'm paying for the stupid GPS that hasn't helped me go anywhere. :)

Our hotel is excellent. It is well located for touring on foot and we have a nice room that looks out at the plaza across the canal. After settling in to our room we walked to the Cathedral stopping in a number of shops along the way. We toured the Cathedral and watched the astronomical clock chime. Then we took a narrated boat tour around Strasbourg. After the boat tour we continued shopping in search of some French macarons. We found some delicious ones not far from our hotel. We took them back to our room and then freshened up a bit before heading out again to find a dinner spot. We enjoyed wine, dinner, and dessert at a nearby restaurant with outdoor seating. The temperature was a little cool for al fresco dining but there were heat lamps overhead so we were comfortable. Tomorrow we hope to drive through Alsace wine country and later through the Black Forest on our way back to Stuttgart.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Every one has ocaisional days like this on a trip that test your patience.Gives you lots to tell about when you get home :)